Monday, August 21, 2017

Accountability Monday: 8/21/17

Good morning, friends! I hope you had a great weekend full of all the things you love!

The end of August always is a very hectic time for me at work- all our students return on Wednesday so this week/weekend is full of planning welcome events and then executing them.

The end of August is also a very celebrative time as Matthew's birthday is tomorrow! And this year's he's celebrating a very special year... he'll be 40 years young in just a few hours :-)

Happy birthday, Matthew!

Tuesday: 30 minutes, 2.42 miles
Friday: Squats, lunges, and dead lifts per this workout from Women's Running- 2 sets of 10 reps each
Saturday: 7 miles on the trail, 1:32:16, 13:10 pace with negative splits

So maybe doing squats and lunges the night before running the longest you've run in three months isn't the greatest idea? Yeah, I've been struggling to sit down/stand up for two days. LOL.

Best Run
Even though my quads were trashed, and sometimes I felt like death, Saturday's long run was still awesome. I've got nine miles on tap for this weekend- but this time I won't do any squats the night before. :-)

Bravo Moment
I ran the last mile of Saturday's long run in my sports bra because it was 80 damn degrees outside and we were running in full sun. I was a little self-conscious as I don't have the typical "runner's body" of someone who might be comfortable running in just a sports bra in public. But like I said, it was so damn hot that I got over my fear and just went for it. And it was much, much cooler without my tank!

Quote of the Week
This really resonated with me this week. Part of being more mindful is accepting where I am, rather than where I "used" to be- and if I'm currently in the midst of the "struggle" then maybe I need to accept it, learn from it, and help it motivate me to be where I want to be.

Don't forget! You can still enter my giveaway to get a FREE race entry to the Runner's World Half & Festival! The giveaway runs until 8/23 and you can tweet every day to get more entries! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

RW Half & Festival: Come Run With Me!

The Runner's World Half & Festival holds a very, very special place in my heart. The beautiful city of Bethlehem, the changing leaves and perfect running weather in October, the super cool expo speakers, the opportunity to meet and run with editors from Runner's World...  it all adds up to one awesome running weekend.

Photo credit: Runner's World

But I've actually never even run any of the races during the RW Half & Festival Weekend! So, how can I love a race so much when I've never crossed the starting line? Let's rewind to October 2014....

If you've been a long-time reader of this blog, then you know I suffered a second metatarsal stress fracture in September 2014 and was on a knee scooter/non-weight bearing for seven long, torturous weeks. I missed several races that fall and winter- one of which was the "Hat Trick" at RW Half & Festival. I was supposed to run the 5k and 10k on Saturday and then the half on Sunday. Instead, I found myself cheering on lots of friends, volunteering at the expo, and stalking Bart Yasso all weekend 😊

And I had an AWESOME time! Even though I couldn't run, I still got to chat with Runner's World editors/staff, hang out in between races with friends, and just enjoy the atmosphere of a weekend catered to runners of all levels.

We met Mandy for the first time this weekend!

Then in 2015, I returned to Bethlehem, not to run, but to cheer on several runners/friends that were in town to run the race. The steel stacks are only two hours from my home so I couldn't not make the trip to see Dani (Weight Off My Shoulders), Linzie (Sharp Endurance), Jenna (This Princess Runs For Sparkle) and Kristin (Bama Girl Runs) who had traveled from all over the country/state for the races!


So, is it any surprise that I am SO EXCITED to head back to Bethlehem this fall and actually get to run the "Grand Slam" as part of the RW Half & Festival Run Crew?! I literally cannot wait!

I'll be running all the races during the weekend (minus the Kids Race and the Dog Run): a 3.8 mile trail race on Friday, 5k and 10k on Saturday, and the half marathon on Sunday.

Want to join me for one of the best race weekends on the east coast??

The awesomely generous folks at Runner's World have given me one FREE RACE ENTRY for any of the weekend's events to giveaway to one lucky blog reader! See details below for your chance to win!

Giveaway Rules: This giveaway will run until 8/23/17 at midnight. At that time, rafflecopter randomly selects a winner from all the entries. The more points you accumulate, the more entries you can get- make sure to tweet about the giveaway every day to get more chances to win!

I will contact the winner on 8/23/17 by email and will give a two day window to respond/claim the prize. If I have not heard from the winner by midnight on 8/25/17, I will draw another name/winner from the rafflecopter list.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't happen to win the free entry, you can still get a 10% discount on any of the weekend's races by using the code "SPARKLYRUNNER" at checkout. 

Good luck and see you in Bethlehem!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Accountability Monday: 8/14/17

Hola, friends! I am so excited to post this morning because I can finally share some awesome news that I received a few weeks ago- read on to find out how this benefits YOU!

Wednesday: 3.1 miles, 12:41 pace
Saturday: 3.1 miles, 12:10 pace

This week, I finally was able to start running again with no issues from the pneumonia. It has been about seven weeks since I have been able to run consistently without any chest pain or coughing. Since there are only three weeks (!) until the Harrisburg Half Marathon, I'm going to have to really compress my training into the time I have left. I'm planning a seven miler this weekend, a nine miler the following weekend, and then a five miler the following weekend. Luckily, the Harrisburg Half is a walker-friendly race so I'll be able to run some of the race and walk when and as much as I need.

Best Run
Definitely the run on Saturday morning with Matthew. I felt really strong and even managed a sub-12 minute mile in there. Slowly I'll get back to pre-pneumonia shape. :-)

Bravo Moment
Ok, so here's the news I've been waiting to share- I've been selected to be part of the Runner's World Half Marathon Run Crew!!!

So, what's the big deal? In addition to a whole host of goodies, giveaways, and exclusive opportunities during the Runner's World Half & Festival Weekend, the awesome folks at Runner's World have extended the generosity and are giving you some cool stuff as well!

More details will be coming in a post this week, but in short, I've got a 10% discount code for you to register for the event (use "SPARKLYRUNNER" at checkout), a FREE race registration for one lucky follower, and an extra RW Half & Festival Swag Bag (worth $100+) to give away!

Seriously, how cool is that?! I can't wait to tell you more about the Run Crew program and why I'm so excited to be headed back to Bethlehem this October.

Quote of the Week
Because I'm super pumped to see him again at RW's Half & Festival, here's a good one by the "Mayor of Running" himself, Bart Yasso.

Make it a good week, friends!

Who will I see in Bethlehem this fall for the Runner's World Half & Festival?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday

Got my CT scan results back... and I'm back on another round of antibiotics.
Fingers crossed this will cure the pneumonia once and for all. 

Congratulations to Sarah P. winner of the Disney quote medal holder giveaway!

New shoes 💖💖💖

Woo! I made it on the Top 100 Running Blog list again this week!

Drinks with dinner tonight because we have something super cool and running-related to celebrate- details coming soon!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Accountability Monday: 7/24/17

Well here we are, another Monday. Here's to coffee strong enough to get through the day! 😁

Since my last accountability post was just last Wednesday, this one will be short and sweet. 

In case you missed it, this blog turned four on Saturday! I'm giving away a pretty sweet prize and you've still got time to enter the giveaway (ends 7/29/17)- details are in this post. And, you can tweet every day to get more entries! Good luck!

Wednesday: Harrisburg Mile Race, 10:04 unofficial
Thursday: PT Knee workout
Saturday: 2.57 miles walked, 40:44

Even though I PR'd the mile on Wednesday night (an automatic PR because I've never done a mile race before), I think I pushed a little too hard. My lungs hurt a bit afterward and it brought on another coughing fit. It feels significantly better today so I just need to stick to walking and light running for a few more weeks. With fall races just around the corner, it looks like I'll be walking a lot of the training miles. 

Best Run
The Harrisburg Mile was super fun- we ran along the Susquehanna River downtown and even though it was hot, it was still a pretty enjoyable mile.

A post shared by Sarah (@sparklyrunner) on

Bravo Moment
This weekend, my in-laws celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary! How awesome is that? Anyway, Matthew and I spent the weekend at their house and while my mother-in-law was changing out some pictures in picture frames, she came across this picture of Matthew and I from summer 2012 (left) and a picture of us from this past Mother's Day. Even though I have gained some weight, I can still really tell the difference in how I look in these two pictures. Seeing these was a great visual reminder of how far I've come and why I want to keep tracking and trying. Also, I'm ending the week with a few smart points left over- that's two weeks in a row!

Matthew has stayed as handsome as ever. ❤

Quote of the Week
... might have something to do with my giveaway. And my fall race dreams- maybe I'll be chasing a new half marathon PR?! Like the man says...

Have a great week, friends- make it awesome!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday, Sparkly Runner!

Four years ago today (!), I started this blog and shared my very first post. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine how this little blog would grow and change and develop- nor did I imagine all the wonderful people I would meet, both online or in real life. Thank you for reading these last few years. 💖

In honor of Sparkly Runner's fourth birthday, here are two "fab four" lists, a trip down memory lane, and a sweet giveaway for one lucky reader!


4. New Run/Walk/Run Strategy from Jeff Galloway I'm kind of surprised this one made the top four- I guess folks like the Galloway method!

3. 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Review Ok, this post is the third-most read on my blog and I didn't even write it! 😎 One of the bloggers that I stalked followed leading up to the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon, Matt from Hokeyblog, and I partnered up to switch race recaps as he ran the half and I walked the 5k- my first one back after the stress fracture. You can read my recap on his blog here.

2. 2014 Race Recap & Review: Harrisburg Half Marathon This was an awesome race (even though I ran it on a broken foot) and I cannot wait to run it again in September.

1. Accountability Monday: 9/29/14 Again, somewhat surprised that this one is the most-viewed post on my blog but google analytics doesn't lie. This was right after the first race I missed because of my stress fracture. What I thought would be a soul-crushing weekend ended up being really amazing and supportive- my running ohana are the absolute best.


4. Character Photo Ops at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend This was the first time I participated in a virtual blog hop and I got to meet some really cool bloggers/runners as we were linking our posts together. And writing about runDisney character spots is one of my absolute favorite things to write about!

3. Race Recap & Review: Run Swim Run OBX My first not-just-running event was super scary but also super empowering. I loved doing it and loved writing about doing it too!

2. Promises I go back to this post often to remind myself that I am capable of discipline, hard work, and success.

1. Spectating the Inaugural Pop Art Half Marathon There are no other words to describe this experience other than pure magic. This post still brings tears to my eyes rereading it and remember what a special day it was.


Ok friends, because you've stuck with me for four years, I've got a giveaway for one lucky reader!

Pretty cool, right? Follow the directions below to enter to win!

My absolute favorite medal holders come from York Sign Shop so I want to give one away to one of my readers (as in, I buy it and ship it to you). And what better holder than one with a quote from Walt himself?!

Some rules for this giveaway- it will run until 7/29/17 at midnight. At that time, rafflecopter randomly selects a winner from all the entries. The more points you accumulate, the more entries you can get- make sure to tweet about the giveaway every day to get more chances to win!

I will contact the winner on 7/29/17 by email and will give a two day window to respond/claim the prize. If I have not heard from the winner by midnight on 7/31/17, I will draw another name/winner from the rafflecopter list.

Good luck!

And thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking with me the last few years- y'all rock!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Accountability Wednesday (?): 7/19/2017

Hello and happy Wednesday! Some weekends just slip by me and I don't get a chance to get an Accountability Monday post together until Wednesday. 😊

Anyway, here's an update on my pneumonia. I had another CT scan about 10 days ago and I'm still waiting to hear the results. Fingers crossed the last round of antibiotics worked and the infection is on its way to being 100% gone. I have been able to walk (and run- slowly!) a little this week with no lung issues so I'm feeling pretty confident that the infection is healing.

Tuesday: 1.8 mile walk with Matthew
Friday: 10 minute walk, 10 minutes of leg presses and calf raises, 10 minutes of walk/run- 1:1 intervals

This evening Matthew and I will be running the Harrisburg Mile in the "fun run" heat, not the competitive age-group waves as we'd originally planned. I will most likely run/walk the mile, depending on how I feel tonight. Tune into my instagram around 6 pm as I'm sure I'll be posting selfies from the race. 😉

Best Run
Definitely running on the treadmill on Friday night. It felt awesome to be able to run again, even if it was only for a few minutes.

Bravo Moment
Last weekend, I attended my first WW Focus workshop. These workshops are designed to be totally different from a Weight Watchers meeting- and they are really, truly different. The session I attended was all about techniques designed to help you get more in touch with your body, heart, and mind. There was meditation, breathing exercises, and something called "tapping"- a practice designed to help reduce anxiety.

I have to say, I went into this workshop not knowing what to expect and then being blown away by how helpful it was. It was a little out of my comfort zone, but I'm proud I kept an open mind. I've even tried some of the techniques this week and have found them helpful.

AND! There's a second bravo this week- I HAVE POINTS LEFT OVER! Yup, that's right, I have NINE smart points left from my weekly budget. This never happens. Like ever. I think the last time I had points leftover was well over a year ago. It finally feels like I'm back on track and in control of my eating habits after the last few months of chaos and lack of discipline.

Still not sure how this happened.

Quote of the Week

Be like a lotus- grow in the mud!

Friends, make sure you come back here this weekend... you won't want to miss Saturday's post! 😃

Have a great week!